This is why we celebrate this great anniversary, this co-founding of AA, as it is the start of this therapeutic and spiritual connectedenss with other alcoholics needing help and giving help and with the wider world. Most active ingredients accounting for AA’s benefit are social in nature, such as attending meetings, and the 12 steps mention “we” 6 times but not “I” once. Millions of lives have been saved not to mention the lasting benefits it has brought to families, and societies once harmed by alcoholism. The basic tenet of this, is that it takes one alcoholic to help another alcoholic achieve sobriety. It symbolizes that this was the day when one alcoholic helped another alcoholic achieve lasting sobriety. I have a spiritual tool kit that deals with this emotional disease.
By sin I mean negative emotions that cause distress to me and others. When I accepted that the ‘spiritual malady’ was about my beliefs, thoughts, and emotions, I came to see that many of my own beliefs and thoughts on this subject were contributing to my disease. I had many old ideas and prejudices that had to be examined and released. Is describing, essentially is referring to a stark void in our lives that we constantly attempt to fill with outside things such as drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, or anything we can think to try to feel better. It is the emptiness we feel on such a deep level that we turn to self-medication in order to alleviate the sadness and despair that go hand in hand with. But in our quest to fill this void with any and everything we can think of, we completely miss that the only thing that can actually fulfill us a spiritual connectedness to something greater than ourselves.
Addiction Treatment Options
“God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference” is the Serenity Prayer used at every AA meeting. The Serenity Prayer is the greatest exercise in prioritisation. One of the earliest studies on AA members concluded that they were linked in commonality by two variables, emotional immaturity and grandiosity! I would contend that grandiosity is a part of emotional immaturity. I also contend that our “maladjustment to life” is based on emotional immaturity which is in itself a function of emotion regulation and processing deficits.
These core beliefs make it harder for us to connect with a god of our understanding. For some, it may manifest as a feeling of being disconnected from others or as a sense of emptiness. The thoughts we have as alcoholics are often insidious in such a way that we can’t tell what is spiritual malady true or false.The AA Big Booktalks about this delusion we develop in active addiction. Thoughts like we can eventually manage our lives while in active addiction. If I could control my alcoholism without the help and support of a recovery community, I would have done it long ago.
How Far Have We Come In Understanding this “Spiritual Malady” of Alcoholism?
When the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous was written and published in 1939, the times and language of those times was incredibly different than modern times. This is one of the reasons that Big Book study groups have become so popular among recovering alcoholics. Apart from dissecting the Big Book so as to have a firmer grasp on the 12 Steps and program and in general, it also is designed to help us decipher the intricate language and wording used from a different time period. Old timers and recovering people with more experience can explain in layman’s terms just what the author Bill W.
- First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure.
- Not enough action, or effort to change my feelings in a healthy manner.
- It is emotionally healthy to accept our past experiences, however painful, as past events and move on to a richer, more fulfilling future.
- Bill Wilson had got this idea of abnormal, or allergic reaction to alcohol, from a physician, Dr Silkworth, who had treated him at Towns Hospital.
If further validation is required I suggest a frank conversation with a loved one, wife, husband, child, parent, etc. Addiction is often referred to as a disease of perception as addicts have a tendency to creating extraneous narrative around the experiences of their lives. Since this additional narrative often consist of perspectives that causes the addict to feel separate, this is where the spiritual malady lives.
What About God?
I would suggest in relation to the issue of co-morbidities that one try to deal with these alcoholism related issues and then see if there are any other to deal with afterwards. For me, as someone who has been treated for anxiety and depression prior to recovery the 12 steps appear to have treated these as emotional consequences of my underlying condition of emotion dysregulation which I call alcoholism. In order to illustrate how I believe my spiritual malady is the consequence of my emotional disorder, called alcoholism/addiction first let’s go back to where this idea of spiritual malady came from. That is not to say that normal people cannot be full of sin – a cursory look around the work and it’s events will soon confirm this is the case. What I am saying is that they do not have the emotion dysregulation or fear based responding that I seem to have which often prompts “sin”. It is important that when we embark upon this quest to alleviate our spiritual malady that we are not too harsh on ourselves.
I am full of shame, more so than fear, although these two overlap. We have to show love and tolerance for each other as we suffer the same illness/malady. Dismissing others like us for having what we have and acting as we do is like a form of self loathing. We are far from being Saints but https://ecosoberhouse.com/ have a solution Saints would approve and achieve a kind of transient sanctity in this 12 step solution of letting go and letting God. This is why I have to forgive the other guy as I have been forgiven but also to forgive myself (or ask God to forgive me my shortcomings) for my reactions.
thoughts on “The Spiritual Malady”
The following blogs are a collection of blogs from our sister blog which is dedicated to explaining what it is like to suffer from and recover from alcoholism and other addictive behaviours. I have suggested clearly in previous blogs how I think AA’s 12 recovery programme helps specifically with problems of emotion dysregulation. I believe we can unwittingly complicate our treatment of alcoholism by believing we have (and treating) other conditions we see as distinct from alcoholism but which are in fact part of this condition called alcoholism. In fact our first “spiritual” wakening was probably the result of drinking as it transformed how we felt about ourselves and the world in which we lived.
Reach out to our compassionate team to begin your recovery journey. One of the most important things in AA is finding a sponsor – someone who has been through the program and can help guide you through it. If you’re struggling with the concept of God, try to find a sponsor who shares your views. That way, they’ll be able to relate to your experience and offer advice from a place of understanding. First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure. Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us, we considered its common manifestations.